Three of the five teams that have coaching vacancies have received permission to interview former Saints coach Sean Payton. And that’s very good, for both Payton and the Saints.
It’s the coaching equivalent of the Deshaun Watson trade. The Saints wouldn’t be granting permission to the Broncos, Cardinals, and Saints without a loose understanding as to what it would take to acquire his rights. And if Payton can in turn create a sense of competition for his services, his price will go higher and higher and higher — especially since there’s no salary cap for coaches.
The situation quite possibly will drive the league office batty, given that it pushes the balance of power back toward the league’s coaches. Or at least toward the best of them. The best of the best should be paid more than they get. The best of the best are also worth the first-round pick or whatever else it will take to get him.
A great coach can make a huge difference for a team. Payton has proven to be a great coach. Brilliant, creative, works hard and works smart. Gets results. Makes the most out of the guys he has.
He’s now potentially making the most out of his opportunity to find a new team. And more quite possibly will be interested.
The Cowboys have pursued him in the past. The Cowboys supposedly are sticking with coach Mike McCarthy, no matter what.
But what if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suddenly faces the prospect of having Payton down the road in Houston, turning around the Texans? That could be the thing that gets Jerry to pivot from McCarthy to Payton. To speak now or forever hold his peace. To finish the job that he started four years ago.
Yes, this one is interesting. And it could get a lot more interesting in the coming days and weeks. Especially if the Cowboys lose on Monday night.